ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - Jay Larocque was one of the thousands of commuters stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic Monday morning, detouring around their normal routes to work after hearing news that Colonial Drive was closed down, between Huey and Orange avenues.
"I thought I'd take Amelia, like I did, but I think everybody else did too. It is frustrating," said Larocque.
The Florida Department of Transportation is saying several cracks in a newly constructed bridge pier on I-4 are to blame. FDOT acknowledged those cracks last week, when FOX 35 inquired about them -- horizontal cracks that had been circled on a bridge pier off of Colonial and I-4 East.
FDOT says the engineers looked at the pier and say it is structurally sound and that it's in an abundance of caution that they decided to shut down that stretch of road to install temporary shoring to help support the structure. That makes sense to Elaine Koshel.
"Because of what happened in South Florida, I guess they might be taking some precautions because of that, so that's a good thing," said Koshel.
An FDOT spokesperson tells FOX 35 that they are now in the beginning phase of designing a permanent pier. Larocque says he's hoping the public gets more warning before the road gets shut down when the permanent pier gets installed.
"Normally it takes me about 50 minutes to get to work and it took me about an hour and 20 minutes. Had I known about it last week, I could have made other arrangements to get to work," said Larocque.
Colonial Drive was originally to re-open Tuesday morning, according to FDOT. However, they confirmed Tuesday that it will remain close all of Tuesday, as final inspections, modifications, and approval steps are underway.
The I-4 Ultimate Project says that because of the closure:
- Eastbound State Road 50 traffic will be detoured south to eastbound Livingston Street.
- Westbound State Road 50 traffic will be detoured south to westbound Robinson Street.
- Northbound Garland Avenue will allow for turns onto westbound State Road 50 only.
- The eastbound I-4 on ramp from northbound Garland Avenue, north of State Road 50, will be closed. Drivers can use the eastbound I-4 on ramps from Amelia Street or Ivanhoe Boulevard.
- Westbound I-4 on ramps from State Road 50 are scheduled to remain open.